DIY Tutorial: 3-minute stamps

Gotta love them!

In every thrift-store I visit, I spend a lot of time browsing through the toy-department, hoping to find a box that says "My own print-shop" (with a lot of little rubber letter-stamps - thus far collected 5) or any other kind of stamp.

In Amsterdam we have a great specialized stamp-store I like to visit sometimes. Unfortunately the stamps in there are usually quite expensive, and I am always looking for something slightly different, which would mean I would have to get a stamp custom made (even more expensive).

So I decided to get some rubber erasers and carve my own stamps, like I did once when I was a kid.
There are DIY tutorials all over the web, and it should be quite easy to do.
Well... The erasers are still in their plastic seal.
Somehow I never got to it. Although easy, to me there is still a threshold when you need special equipment or sharp knives.

Instead I came up with this extremely easy breezy way to quickly fabricate your own stamps.

Here is what you'll need:
  • Small-tipped marker (or pen, or pencil, anything that will write on foam)
  • Piece of wood (I used old wooden beads, but you can use any piece that has one flat surface)
  • Pair of scissors
  • Sheet of rubber craft foam (get it cheaply at the kids craft department in all kinds of colours)
  • Glue (any kind, as long as it doesn't eat away the foam)
  • An ink-pad

You will have your own stamp in a few easy steps.
First, trace the outline of your base (in this case, the large wooden beads) on the foam.

Secondly, draw the shape you want your stamp to have within the outline. I like to draw it by hand, to give it a kind of robust feel, but you can always use a template. Either way, don't worry too much about getting it exactly right immediately, you can always fine-tune it while cutting.

So here is step 3: cut out the shape.
Once finished, look at the foam figure from the side you didn't draw on, so you can check its shape without being distracted by any lines.

Almost done: now all you have to do is glue the foam figure on your wooden base..

...And start stamping!

I got so excited about this easy way to make stamps, I made a whole batch...

...And stamped away!

As you can see, the shapes I used for these stamps are rather basic and small, which contributes highly to the fastness of the process.

With this technique you can actually create stamps as intricate as you like, on woodblocks as big as you like (make sure the flat surface is completely even).
For these larger stamps (that are too big for your inkpad), you can use a little paint-roller to ink. Make sure you use even pressure when stamping.
(you actually just created a very easy woodblock-print :-D)


My name is Jana, this is where i collect things